5 Teams That Could Pursue Brian Hoyer
The Houston Texans and quarterback Brian Hoyer finally parted ways late Sunday, with the team officially granting him his release. Houston was reportedly seeking trade partners but ultimately decided to release Hoyer. Now an unrestricted free agent, the veteran quarterback is free to sign with any of the other 31 NFL teams.
The #Texans have released QB Brian Hoyer, source said. He’s a free agent
— Ian Rapoport (@RapSheet) April 17, 2016
Hoyer quickly became expendable after the Texans signed former Denver Broncos passer Brock Osweiler at the start of free agency. Though Hoyer crumbled in a first round playoff loss to the Kansas City Chiefs and lost a starting job for the second consecutive season, he could still find numerous takers on a weak quarterback market.
Hoyer struggles with accuracy and inconsistency, but has flashed solid play for stretches and did play a helping hand in getting Houston to the playoffs. In the right situation, it’s not out of the question that Hoyer could serve as a competent game-manager and a bridge to a franchise’s future starter.
With several teams preparing to head into the draft without being settled at quarterback, Hoyer may have a few opportunities to either land a comfortable backup gig or even compete for a starting job again. Here’s a look at his best options now that he’s out on the open market:
Denver appears to at the moment be Hoyer’s top option. They’ve done a pretty poor job of setting up their quarterback for 2016, having watched Peyton Manning retire and Brock Osweiler leave in free agency.
So far the team does not have a reliable option and heading into 2016 with Mark Sanchez as their only competent passer would be beyond irresponsible. That is currently where they’re at, while there have also been rumors linking them to the likes of Colin Kaepernick and Johnny Manziel.
The Broncos are likely to also add another quarterback via the draft this month, but bringing in Hoyer would not be a bad move. Hoyer is just as good (if not possible better) than Sanchez, and could also help serve as a mentor for any young passers Denver brings in.
Sanchez and Hoyer competing for the top spot certainly isn’t thrilling, but Denver did just get done winning a title predicated largely on an elite defense. If John Elway and co. believe they can do it again with a conservative, pedestrian quarterback under center again, a competition featuring Hoyer and Sanchez isn’t crazy at all.
New York Jets
New York is without a doubt the second best bet for Hoyer going into 2016, as they currently do not have an answer under center. Geno Smith and Bryce Petty are both under contract, but Petty needs time to develop and it doesn’t sound like anyone in NYC wants to see Smith back at the helm of the starting offense.
Ryan Fitzpatrick and the team are back in discussions for him to remain as the starter after a career year in 2015, but nothing is set in stone. Because of that, Fitzmagic could easily end up moving on elsewhere and the door could be cracked open for someone like Hoyer to take over. At the very least, Hoyer would be a solid veteran to come in and compete with Smith and Petty, should Fitzpatrick not be brought back.
Tyrod Taylor showed well enough last year to continue being Buffalo’s starter, but he may end up having a short leash due to management’s lack of support behind him. Buffalo has grown to be rather dysfunctional, too, to the point where even head coach Rex Ryan could be on the hot seat in just his second season at the helm.
That potential could force the Bills to turn over every stone, which may involve drafting another quarterback and bringing in some veteran help. Hoyer probably wouldn’t get a chance to start, but he feels like a more stable backup than E.J. Manuel at this point.
This is where Hoyer’s bid for another starting job ends. Andrew Luck is the main man in Indy and there is no questioning that. Barring another injury like Luck endured last season, Hoyer would go into Indiana knowing he’d be just a backup.
However, he could be Luck’s top backup with Matt Hasselbeck retiring and could always be one injury away from quarterbacking a very potent Colts offense. That could be appealing to Hoyer, as he could help mentor Luck and would at the very worst improve Indy’s quarterback room.
Dallas might be the most attractive backup job of all, as Tony Romo has dealt with numerous back and clavicle issues in recent years. Romo is nearing the end of the line if looking just as his health, but at least initially Hoyer would be cemented as his main backup.
If Romo stays healthy, Hoyer at least is a solid insurance plan, and if he goes down Hoyer could potentially serve as an upgrade over guys Dallas ran with last year like Kellen Moore, Matt Cassel and Brandon Weeden.
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